Spa EF Open: Aitken beats Pulcini in epic duel to win race one
Renault academy driver Jack Aitken came out on top in a race-long battle with RP Motorsport’s Leonardo Pulcini to take victory in the first Euroformula Open race at Spa-Francorchamps.
Aitken started the race from fourth on the grid, which effectively became third as Diego Menchaca failed to start the race due to technical reasons.
The British driver passed Ferdinand Habsburg while braking into Les Combes on Lap 2, with Tanart Sathienthirakul following his teammate to jump into third position.
Aitken then started reeling in polesitter Pulcini, making a brave move at Bruxelles on Lap 4 to move into the lead.
The two drivers, however, continued to trade positions over the next few laps until Aitken made a decisive move on Lap 6 at Les Combes, sealing his second victory of the season.
Behind, Habsburg repassed Sathienthirakul to claim the final spot on the podium, with the latter finishing a tenth of a second behind in fourth place.
Damiano Fioravanti was classified fifth ahead of Carlin’s Colton Herta, who himself was engaged in a lengthy battle with Igor Walilko.
Further back, Diego Menchaca finished in eighth place, with Keyvan Andres and Enaam Ahmed completing the top 10.
The race was brought under safety car conditions when Nikita Zlobin’s car rolled over at the Kemmel Straight on lap 2. The Russian escaped unscathed from the incident, but his car was heavily damaged.
Antoni Ptak also retired from the race, after being squeezed by two rival drivers on the run down to Les Combes.
Race 1 results:
|1||Jack Aitken||RP Motorsport||35'54.749|
|3||Ferdinand Habsburg||Drivex School||6.042|
|4||Tanart Sathienthirakul||RP Motorsport||6.157|
|5||Damiano Fioravanti||RP Motorsport||8.012|
|10||Enaam Ahmed||DAV Racing||24.685|
|11||Danylo Pronenko||BVM Racing||29.839|
|12||Petru Florescu||Teo Marting Racing||30.342|
|13||Tatiana Calderón||Teo Marting Racing||30.587|
|14||Kang Ling||DAV Racing||31.070|
|17||Liang Jia Tong||Team West Tec||1'28.399|
|18||Kusiri Kantadhee||RP Motorsport|
|Ret||Jose Manuel Vilalta||Teo Marting Racing|
|Ret||Daniele Cazzaniga||DAV Racing|
|Ret||Antoni Ptak||RP Motorsport|
|Ret||Nikita Zlobin||Teo Marting Racing|
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